Your informative portrait of John Fennebresque (“The continuing education of John Fennebresque,” May 17 news article) confirmed a number of suspicions about the rude and unexplained dismissal of UNC system President Tom Ross.
You portray a figure who in other settings barrels his unceremonious way from A to Z, heedless of custom or collateral damage. He sees the world in “straight lines.” Some of us see only what has been called “the crooked timber of humanity.”
Fennebresque was apparently unaware that the Board of Governors had assured Ross at the time of his appointment a few years earlier that his tenure would not be shortened by age, which is illegal in any case, as a good lawyer should know.
When confronted with angry criticism of the board’s whimsical act, its chairman had nothing to say in its defense because there was – literally – no explanation other than partisan whim.
There is a solution, even at this late date. Fennebresque’s board can and should reverse its capricious decision, reinstate Ross with a promise to respect pledges solemnly made to him by its predecessor board and apologize to the UNC community.
Otherwise, the Board of Governors will continue to stand accused of arbitrary and unaccountable behavior.
Edwin M. Yoder Jr.